When Annie was two years old, Ed asked how old she would have to be before we got a dog. I said thirty-five. The very next day we had a black collie/cocker named Sandy and I became a dog person. Sandy put up with kids poking, dragging, chased, and loved. Sandy taught Annie how to pee in the vegetable garden and Charley taught Sandy how to be carried around by her middle or neck and not choke...much. When Sandy went to the big dog bowl in the sky we grieved.
About a year later, after an appropriate time we brought home Lucille the 11 week old basset, at 11 pounds, mostly ear weight. Sometime later (we can't remember!), we adopted Emmett the basset, a 6-7 year old extended length dog as a companion for Lucy. Companions they were, sort of. Emmett preferred humans and food to Lucy although she was tolerable. Along came Gracie June, a precious Cavalier King Charles spaniel, four years ago, and she was just another food source for Emmett and Lucy. Emmett, lived a good long life and is now with Sandy in dog heaven.
Lucy lives on. Earlier this summer we were very worried about our girl. Both her back legs have had surgery, host arthritis, and cause her pain limiting her excursions. It pained us to watch her try to get up or lay down. We thought perhaps this would be her last summer. Now however, with new bacon flavored medicine the size of a small eraser, we see big improvement! It only costs money.
Today I took both Lucy and Gracie June for a walk with success. It's actually more like a smell than a walk. Lucy has modeled for Gracie how to smell every blade of grass, small tree, large tree, and shrub, so the walk is often stop and start over and over again. Fortunately, Gracie does not like to roll in the most obnoxious pile of whatever stinky Lucy can find. She's too dainty.
Both girls used to pee like Emmett, lifting their leg, like a boy dog. Not so much any more, but occasionally it happens as old habits are hard to break. Lucy now runs and walks, even skips a bit, although this happens more on the way than the way back. Lucy sometimes sits down on our way back home, prompting me to think of the time we had to get the Home Depot like utility cart to bring Emmett home from a walk, like he was in a parade on his own float.
Lucy gets sore, but wouldn't miss a trip down to the river where she wades in to get a drink of water getting her tummy wet enough to collect dirt on the way home. Just enough to be nasty and get a wipe down. Gracie occasionally gets a drink, daintily, just at the edge of the river.
When Lucy stops to rest, so does Gracie. She doesn't want to leave her sister behind. I love this dog relationship. At home they have spats over bones and food, but truly love each other. Watching the sisters go for walks and to be a part of their lives enriches my human world. Oh pups.
Gracie June and Lucy at Whidbey Island 2009.